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Apple Earnings Preview: It's Not All Bad (Update 2)

Updated from 10:41 a.m. EST to provide analyst comments in the 11th paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) is set to report second-quarter earnings, and while the expectations are heightened given the lagging stock price, perceived lack of innovation and concerns about its cash hoard, it isn't all bad at Apple.

Apple is in a dogfight in smartphones that it appears to be losing to Samsung. Samsung uses Google's (GOOG - Get Report) Android operating system, which is the leading operating system on smartphones by market share, but Wall Street analysts, the media, and traders would have you think the iPhone is on its death bed. That's simply not true, says Societe Generale analyst Andy Perkins.

"Our research on Asian imports/exports shows that volumes for the first calendar quarter remained reasonably strong with robust ASPs," Perkins wrote in his note. "We believe that this in part reflects solid on-going demand for the iPhone models, one of the key determinants of the Asian ASP level." He believes the speculation that Apple has suffered a strong downturn in iPhone demand is way overblown, and kept his iPhone estimate for the quarter at 38 million units. He rates shares "buy" with a $560 price target.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the tech giant to earn $10.01 per share on $42.31 billion in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Estimize are looking for earnings of $10.70 per share on $42.76 billion in sales.

There is a perceived notion in the market place that the iPhone 5 is not a major technological advancement over the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The iPhone numbers from Verizon (VZ) tend to support that notion, with 50% of the iPhone mix being iPhone 5 units, lower than some were forecasting. AT&T (T) reports after the close today as well, so there will be no iPhone read from AT&T in this quarter that can help prior to Apple's report.

While Apple generates over 50% of its revenue from the iPhone, the iPad may be the bigger market, in terms of overall users. In the past, CEO Tim Cook has said the iPad has a bigger opportunity, as tablets continue to eat away at PC sales. Research firm IDC showed the iPad had the lead in the tablet market at the end of the fourth-quarter 2012, at 51%.
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